This is a guest post by one of our former camp directors, Mary Chase Mize.
One of the foundations of CentriKid Camps is the promise of ministry through relationships. During my three summers of camp, I got to experience meaningful relationships with children, adult sponsors, and fellow staffers. On June 27, 2012, my life was changed forever – and the relationships I made with some amazing kids and adults from Point Harbor Community Church didn’t end when camp was over.
Before you continue reading this post, I’d love for you to get the whole backstory behind this incredible experience. You can read all about it here. Long story short: two campers, Hope and Rose, lost their mother to a gruesome battle with cancer while they were attending camp at Eagle Eyrie Conference Center in Lynchburg, Virginia. The children lost a mentor and teacher. The adult sponsors lost a friend and ministry partner. We were all devastated.
But that was not the end.
This past February, nearly two years later, several staffers from our team that summer (including myself) hopped on a plane from Atlanta to Norfolk, Virginia, and attended Point Harbor Community Church’s winter lock-in for their preteen ministry.
The last time we were with the amazing kids and adults from that church, we were weary with grief. This time, we greeted each other like lifelong friends and spent an evening playing games, eating pizza, and spending quality time with the kids we met two years prior, as well as other new faces from the community.
After the lock-in, we spent the rest of the weekend with group leaders and kids who endured that painful week of 2012 with us. Only this time, we were overjoyed. We shared laughter and fellowship with Hope and Rose and their father, Steve. We could rejoice because we knew that the loss of Helen, the mother, not only led hundreds of children to a relationship with Christ, but also led to a wonderful friendship with some CentriKid staffers. We plan to attend the lock-in next year.
This is only the beginning.
If I think too hard about it, I get emotional. I get that ache in the back of my throat and water in my eyes. The timing, the events leading up to that week of camp and the ones proceeding, and how perfectly God orchestrated this whole friendship is too much for me to process. My heart really might explode.
Mary Chase (Breedlove) Mize is a former production leader and camp director for CentriKid. She graduated from Mississippi State University and currently resides with her husband in Atlanta, Georgia. She currently works as a production specialist for the North American Mission Board. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org